Surprise! I’ve got something new out, albeit something very different from my debut novel and from most of what I intend to publish in the future. No, today I announce the publication of my Master’s thesis, Crosscurrents: Navigating The Turbulent Politics Of The Right During The Horthy Era In Hungary, 1920-1944.
I’m not going to get into too much detail on the thesis I wrote for my Master’s Degree in History, in part because I’ve written a bit about the topic twice before, and I’d just end up reiterating what was said there.
I had considered publishing this thesis ever since I completed my degree–why not? Especially as I was planning to publish my novels through Amazon, this would only be a simpler process. What finally pushed me to get this out, however, have been recent events. Over the past few months, my little known piece of history has suddenly become far more discussed, by people who know nothing about it, in the wake of libelous attacks on Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, as well as attacks against Hungary’ prime minister, Viktor Orban, whose government is one of very few in Europe refusing to permit Islamic migrants from entering its country (coincidentally, this has resulted in a very relaxed, peaceful place that I was pleased to finally visit this past February–during which I even traveled out to the hometown of Miklos Horthy, the historical figure at the center of my research.)
In addition to providing an entry point for those interested in learning about this largely ignored piece of history, there is much we can learn from those 25 years of Hungarian history that can be put to good use in the modern day. Horthy also serves as an earlier example of someone on the political right being unjustly called a Nazi–something that has unfortunately only become more common today.
There is almost nothing available in the English language on this topic, and, as I feel I can safely call myself one of the most well studied Americans on this topic, it almost feels like an obligation to get this historical analysis, in which I strove to be as objective as possible, out there.
Some more info on the thesis itself:
Hungary’s Horthy Era (the years in which Admiral Miklos Horthy served as the country’s regent) is a fascinating topic that is criminally understudied. In recent years, as the far right in Hungary, as well as in other parts of both Europe and the world, has become something demanding more attention, so too did Miklos Horthy and the quarter century he headed the country’s government become more discussed. However, pretty much every time the topic has been mentioned, there are numerous inaccuracies, ranging from overgeneralizations to errors likely stemming from ignorance to outright falsehoods.
Horthy was a fascinating man, and the twenty-five years he spent in office is equally interesting, and provides insight into both events. How is it that a self-described antisemite was the only leader of Europe in the German sphere at the time to use his military to prevent Jews from deportation? How did a man with no political experience manage to remain in power for twenty-five years during a very turbulent time for both Hungary and Europe in general? How is it that the first European nation at the time to pass anti-Jewish legislation was the last in which the Jews were deported? How did a leader today termed “Nazi ally” manage to stave off a true fascistic, Nazi-supporting sentiment that was steadily growing in his country until near the end of World War II? These questions, and more, are addressed in Crosscurrents.
My hope with the publication of Crosscurrents, my award-winning Master’s thesis, is to provide a place of easy entry for those interested in learning about this fascinating topic—about which there is very little available in the English language.